of the main challenges in exhaust monitoring is the ability to
monitor the emissions close to the engine exhaust. Traditional
analytical instruments used for exhaust emissions are large, complex,
and require to be operated in controlled environment. Since the
instruments cannot be placed at/near the engine exhaust, long
sampling lines equipped with pumping systems (usually heated to
prevent condensation) are necessary.
Engineering offers MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) based
chemical sensors that can be operated at high temperatures, and
therefore can be placed much closer to the engine's exhaust. Species
monitored include CO, NOx, CO2, O2, and Hydrocarbons. Monitoring of the multiple species is based on several sensor platforms, each having a
different sensing mechanism.
MEMS based chemical sensors are compact and require very little
power - offering the potential of being used not only for engine
development, but also as on-board control and safety sensors.
Similar sensing technology can be applied to the improvement of
engines for automotive and stationary power applications as well.